Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

May 6, 2013

Former Rippers find home with Beach Bums

TRAVERSE CITY — Chris Kaminski witnessed a baseball franchise collapse last season.

Which makes him all that more glad he's now with one that's been stable.

Last year, Kaminski played for the Frontier League's London Rippers, a team that started out ominously with its mascot selection that earned a poor reputation from the start. Team officials insisted the name wasn't derived from Jack the Ripper, but the logo said otherwise.

"When I got there, it was a good team," Kaminski said. "Just a lot of stuff that shouldn't be happening was going on."

Kaminski was an early signing by the Traverse City Beach Bums, not long after the season ended.

It was a season in which his team dissolved and suddenly he was playing for a team that roamed the Midwest like nomads without a home. The franchise was taken over by the league and renamed the Road Warriors. The Frontier League purchased uniforms from the Atlantic League, which for several years had a travel team called the Road Warriors.

So, running around the landscape in another team's uniforms, Kaminski was joined by fellow pitcher Shawn Marquardt. They quickly became two of the team's better pitchers.

Not long after the season, the Beach Bums also added Marquardt.

"I was not there for the collapse," Marquardt said. "I heard all about it. It seemed like a tough situation for all the parties involved. Fortunately, I didn't have to go through any of that."

Ticket sales were tough because groups like schools and churches were put off by the team’s name. It didn't help that the Rippers couldn't sell beer at their games — even though the stadium was Labatt Park. The team was evicted from its own downtown merchandise store.

"The management was doing some things they shouldn't have been doing with the finances and expenses of the team," Kaminski said. "And some players — especially the new ones they picked up — weren't getting paid. They were missing checks and stuff like that. One of the sponsors of the team was like, 'Hey, I gave you plenty of money. Where is it at?' And then he backed out. And the head coach was just like, 'We're done, guys.'"

Text Only

Auto Racing News
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House